Staff with Management Responsibility for the Assessment Process
This section describes the key members of staff and committees involved in the assessment process within the Leeds University Business School and describes their main responsibilities.
Head of School
The Head of School, as the representative of the Senate, is ultimately responsible for all examination and assessment matters in the School. However, many of these responsibilities are delegated to other members of staff and to various formal committees.
Director of Student Education (DSE)
The Director of Student Education is responsible for the overall management of undergraduate and taught postgraduate examinations and assessment. Whilst the Director of Student Education has a responsibility to oversee the range of different types and timing of assessments on programmes, this is often discharged in co-operation with Programme Leaders.
Academic Assessment Lead
The Academic Assessment Lead is responsible to the Pro Dean for Student Education, on behalf of the Head of School, for the development, organisation and management of the assessment policy and practices within the School.
A Programme Leader is responsible to the Director of Student Education for the development, organisation and management of a named programme and for the academic experience of the students on that programme. Programme Leaders play an active part in the development of the School’s portfolio of programmes and the enhancement of the student academic experience. The Programme Leader for each programme is listed in the programme catalogue.
A Module Leader, a contracted member of academic staff, is appointed to lead each module in the School’s portfolio and is responsible for its development, organisation and management, as well as for the assessment of students. Module Leaders, in liaison with Programme Leaders, are responsible to the Director of Student Education acting on behalf of the Head of School. The Module Leader for each module is listed in the module catalogue.
Academic Integrity Lead
The Academic Integrity Lead is a nominated member of academic staff who is responsible for ensuring consistency within the School in implementing academic misconduct procedures and practice, and investigating suspected cases of academic misconduct. The aim is to ensure equity of treatment of students. The role also involves academic integrity education, such as raising staff and student awareness of academic misconduct issues.
School Academic Lead for Inclusive Pedagogies
The School Academic Lead for Inclusive Pedagogies is a nominated member of academic staff who is responsible for promoting and embedding inclusive approaches.
Pro Dean for Student Education
The Pro Dean for Student Education, at the Faculty level, is not directly involved with the assessment of most students, but has overall responsibility for quality assurance, standards and quality enhancement of the Faculty's learning and teaching provision. The Pro Dean chairs the Faculty Taught Student Education Committee.
Student Education Service
The Student Education Service (SES) is responsible for the support of students throughout their time at
University and supports academic staff in the administration of module assessments and final Degree Classification. SES staff manage the administration in relation to assessment for modules (including the collation, entry, and release of marks in line with University regulations), support School level procedures such as mitigating circumstances and academic integrity and services all Assessment, Progression and Awards Boards.
Faculty Director of Taught Programmes (Quality)
The Director of Taught Programmes (Quality) provides academic leadership and oversight to the development of taught programmes parented by the Business School, and the quality assurance of their delivery.
Faculty Director of Student Support & Assessment
The Director of Taught Programmes (Assessment and Student Support) provides academic leadership and oversight to the development and delivery of assessment practices, examination boards and student support on taught programmes parented by the Business School.
Faculty Director of Student Opportunity, Experience and Success
The Director of Student Opportunity, Experience and Success provides academic leadership and oversight to the development and delivery of all opportunities for LUBS students aligned to Academic Personal Tutoring, and the management and monitoring of student success and experience.
Operational Delivery Lead for Assessment
The role of the Functional Manager, as a member of the Faculty Education School Management team, is to liaise with staff involved in assessment to improve the consistency of processes and practices and to promote the sharing of ideas and good practice. The Functional Manager will also co-ordinate the introduction of developments or improvement initiatives which impact upon assessment.
Senior Programme Officers – Assessment
There are two Senior Programme Officers in Leeds University Business School with responsibility for Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate assessment respectively. It is the Programme Officer’s role to facilitate the delivery of assessment within their own area to an excellent standard, from the setting of assessment to classification at the examination board. They also work closely with the Functional Education Service Manager for Assessment and Academic Programme Directors to deliver continuous improvement in the delivery of student education practices, with a particular focus on the area of assessment.
Internal Examiners and Assessment Assistants
Every taught credit-bearing module must have an internal examiner, an identified individual who takes responsibility for the assessment on each module. Although marking of assessment may be undertaken by a team, the internal examiner has responsibility for the marks awarded. The internal examiner is usually the module leader.
There may be occasions when it is appropriate for another qualified and experienced individual, such as a Foreign Language Assistant, a member of staff at a collaborating partner institution, or a retired or visiting member staff, to act as internal examiner. The module leader retains overall responsibility and accountability for the module whilst delegating responsibility for assessment to another. In such cases, the School will make a formal nomination of the individual as an internal examiner and the appointment will be approved by the Faculty Taught Student Education Committee, or by the Chair acting on its behalf.
Assessment assistants are individuals who, working under the supervision of the internal examiner, assist with the marking of students' work. The internal examiner remains formally responsible for assessment design and for the marks awarded. Assessment assistants usually have a formal link with the University (for example, are studying for a research degree), but are not academic members of staff. Assessment assistants are approved, appointed and monitored at the school level.
Use of Assessment Assistants
The School appoints assessment assistants under defined circumstances:
- Where the assessment is conducted against well-defined success criteria, e.g. in the case of an MCQ paper; Monitoring and Training for Assessment Assistants
Marking undertaken by Assessment Assistants is comprehensively monitored. The School maintains a complete, detailed and up-to-date record of appointed assessment assistants and the training they have received.
The School follows the agreed University procedures relating to external examiners for all taught programmes.
An External Examiner is appointed by the University to oversee each programme or area of study. The External Examiner provides independent assurance of the efficacy and fairness of the assessment procedures and maintenance of academic standards. External Examiners’ reports from previous years are available to students.
Student Education Committees
There are two types of meeting: the School Assessment Board (see Section 4.10a School Assessment Board), which oversees module marks/grades, and the Progression and Awards Board (see Section 6.2b Progression and Awards Board), which determines final outcomes (such as classification).
Mitigating Circumstances Guidance
Requesting Consideration for Mitigating Circumstances Guidance for Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Students 2022-2023
Note - this section can also be viewed and downloaded in PDF Format
- What are mitigating circumstances?
- Circumstances normally accepted
- Circumstances that may be considered
- What are not mitigating circumstances?
- Support needs that arise during the semester
- Events which you are reasonably expected to manage
- Ongoing circumstances and long-term health conditions
- Disability (including Specific Learning Difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), mental health conditions and long-term medical conditions)
- Circumstances with an impact on all students, or groups of students
- Forms of mitigation available
- Extension to Coursework Deadline for up to 14 calendar days
- Applying for an Extension to a Coursework Deadline
- Deadline for applications for an Extension to a Coursework Deadline
- Additional Consideration
- Applying for Additional Consideration
- Types of Additional Consideration available
- Deadline for applications for Additional Consideration
- Adjustments to Application Process
- Evidence in support of mitigating circumstances
- Consideration of mitigating circumstances
- Who considers my application?
- How is my application considered?
- When will my application be considered?
- What happens to the application form and my evidence once reviewed?
- What are the possible outcomes?
- How will I be told the outcome?
- What if I am not satisfied with the decision?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As a student at Leeds, you are expected to comply with the terms of the Student Contract https://students.leeds.ac.uk/studentcontract, which includes regular attendance and participation in your studies, including assessment (coursework or exams). You are expected to sit and submit all assessments as timetabled unless you have a good reason not to do so.
We understand that you may be affected by illness and/or difficult and distressing events that are outside your control and which may affect your ability to take assessments. The guidance explains the additional consideration that can be given by the University in relation to your assessments.
This guidance explains the types of adverse events or circumstances that we will consider as a mitigating circumstance for assessment and sets out the process by which applications are to be submitted and considered. If you are unclear about any stage of the process, ask your parent school for help. Alternatively, guidance can also be sought from the Leeds University Union (LUU) Help and Support.
2. What are mitigating circumstances?
Mitigating circumstances are normally exceptional, short term, unforeseen and unpreventable events that may have a significantly disruptive effect on your ability to take assessments. These events are over and above the course of everyday life, and normally outside of your control. They may affect your ability to complete coursework or other assessments, and revise for and attend examinations.
Mitigating circumstances must be:
|Significant||The event or circumstances must have had a serious impact on your studies.|
|Unexpected||You must normally have had no prior knowledge that a particular event or circumstance would occur.|
|Unpreventable||There must have been no reasonable steps that you could have taken to prevent the event or circumstance from occurring.|
|Relevant||You must be able to link the event or circumstance, and its impact, on the period for which the application is being made.|
|Corroborated||An application for mitigating circumstances must meet the normal requirements for independent documentary evidence (see Evidence section).|
Not all difficult or distressing events will constitute mitigating circumstances; there must be a demonstrable adverse effect on your academic performance, which may take a number of forms:
- You were unable to submit work by a deadline or attend a scheduled test, examination or practical activity.
- The event or circumstance may have caused you to underperform in an assessment, either in the preparation for the assessment, or on the day (i.e. whilst completing a piece of coursework or undertaking revision and/or sitting an examination).
2.1 Circumstances normally accepted
Supported by evidence, these are examples of circumstances normally accepted as mitigating if they occur immediately prior to or during an assessment period:
This list is not exhaustive, and each application will be considered on its own merit.
- The death of someone you are close to e.g. parent, grandparent, guardian, partner, sibling, child.
- Serious personal illness or personal injury, or a significant change or deterioration in a long-term condition.
- Victim of crime (usually with police crime number, or supporting evidence from University member of staff/professional person to whom the student has confided).
- Jury service.
- Involvement in a criminal case/witness.
- Failure in the provision of reasonable adjustments, or failure in, or inaccessibility of, school provided equipment.
2.2 Circumstances that may be considered
Supported by evidence, these are examples of circumstances that may be considered as mitigating:
This list is not exhaustive, and each application will be considered on its own merit.
- Personal problems/trauma/family crisis/domestic issues/unexpected issues with childcare provision.
- Illness of a close family member.
- Planned medical operation (if advance notice is provided).
- Planned hospital tests (if advance notice is provided).
- Unforeseen consequences of disability which have not been mitigated by agreed reasonable adjustments.
- Unforeseen accommodation issues, outside of your control (this would not include house moves caused due to the end of a lease).
3. What are not mitigating circumstances?
3.1 Support needs that arise during a semester
Whilst you should make every effort to manage your life and studies in conjunction with such events, it is also understood that sometimes you may need some support.
Should such circumstances begin to affect your ability to participate in your studies, it is your responsibility to let your parent school know as soon as possible. There is a great deal of support available across the University, and your parent school will provide advice regarding who to contact and how. It is important to let your parent school know of any difficult circumstances, at any stage, and as early as possible.
It is often said that your university years are the best of your life and we hope that is the case for you in Leeds. However, there might be times when it does not always feel like that. Wherever you are from and whatever your circumstances and support needs, our expert teams can work with you during your time in Leeds.
The key services are:
- Student Counselling & Wellbeing
- Disability Services
- LUU Help and Support (https://www.luu.org.uk/help-support/)
- International Student Office
- Accommodation Office
- Security Services
- Online support through Togetherall
- School Student Support teams
If you think you need some help or support, you should talk to someone, such as your School Student Support team or your Academic Personal Tutor within your parent school in the first instance.
3.2 Events which you are reasonably expected to manage
Not every event which you believe has disrupted your ability to take assessments will be considered as mitigating circumstances. An unexpected event or illness does not automatically lead to academic underperformance. If you are unsure whether your circumstances will be considered, please seek guidance from your parent school. Examples of situations which would not normally be considered mitigating circumstances include:
This list is not exhaustive, and each application will be considered on its own merit.
- Short-term minor ailments (coughs, colds, etc.) even when supported by medical evidence – these should be covered by an application for an extension to the deadline.
- Late submission of coursework without good reason (or where you could reasonably have been expected to apply for an extension).
- Pressures of academic work i.e. multiple deadlines, time mismanagement, non-availability of high demand books and other resources (except disability-related resource outside of your control).
- Lost or not backed-up coursework, or other computer failure.
- Financial problems, even if this is a change of circumstances (other than cases of extreme hardship).
- Domestic events such as house moves, family celebrations, holidays, weddings or other such events where you have control over the date or can choose not to attend.
- Normal academic work commitments.
- Appointments which could be rearranged (or advance notification given to the school).
- Mistaking a deadline, misreading the examination timetable or submitting the wrong assignment in error.
- Transport difficulties (i.e. strikes, traffic jams, delayed trains).
- You should determine whether you believe you will be fit to undertake assessment around your expected due date and discuss and agree in advance any risk assessment or adjustment to assessments appropriate. Applications related to unexpected difficulties, impact of unplanned pregnancy, or health issues may however be considered, if supported by appropriate evidence.
- Examination nerves, feeling generally anxious, suffering from low mood, stress or panic attacks (where no diagnosis of a mental health condition has been made).
- Ignorance of the regulations or examination or assessment arrangements.
3.3 Ongoing circumstances and long-term health conditions
You are expected to manage ongoing circumstances in conjunction with your studies where feasible. Where this is not possible, you are advised to discuss with your parent school taking temporary leave from your studies. Where you choose to continue to study, you are encouraged to access support available to you. You will not normally be awarded mitigating circumstances for known or ongoing circumstances unless there are events beyond your control that prevent you from accessing support. You will need to provide evidence to support this.
4. Disability (including Specific Learning Difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), mental health conditions and long-term medical conditions)
If you are disabled, or you have a long-term health condition (12 months or more) that impacts on your day-to-day activities, you should register with Disability Services who will advise further on support and reasonable adjustments to your study and assessment. Disability includes specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), as well as diagnosed mental health conditions. You can find out more about Disability Services and how to register here: https://students.leeds.ac.uk/settingupyoursupport.
- If you are a disabled student and you experience mitigating circumstances unrelated to your disability you should apply through this procedure.
- If you are a disabled student with flexibility with assessment submission or deadlines as a reasonable adjustment (as detailed on your Support Summary Sheet), you can also apply for an extension to a coursework deadline using the online form (see Section 7 below).
- If you have requested reasonable adjustments and find that they have not been effective or have not been put in place in time (particularly at the start of the year), you can also submit an application for mitigating circumstances where your assessments have been affected. It is accepted that sometimes it will take time to get the right support in place, and you should feel able to bring this to the attention of your school when it has affected your performance. You will be required to provide evidence to support such claims. You should contact Disability Services for advice and further support.
5. Circumstances with an impact on all students, or groups of students
Sometimes there will be unanticipated circumstances which have an impact on all students, or specific groups of students. Where this is the case the University will take action to apply mitigation and will let students know what this will be. For example, where there is industrial action or public health requirements which impact on learning and teaching arrangements, action will be taken to adjust teaching and learning arrangements for students, and consideration will be given to mitigate the impact on assessment, for example by assessing content taught, or changing the method of assessment.
If you consider that the impact of circumstances with an impact on all students affects you severely and is not mitigated by the action taken by the University, you should apply for mitigation in the normal way. Evidence will be expected of individual impact. Consideration of circumstances that may be considered will follow the guidance set out in sections 2 and 3 above.
6. Forms of Mitigation Available
There are two forms of mitigation available: Extensions to Coursework Deadlines and Additional Consideration (detailed below in sub-sections in 6. and 7.).
7. Extension to Coursework Deadline for up to 14 calendar days
Circumstances which will have a short-term impact on your ability to complete coursework assessments (for example, minor illness) should be covered by an application for an extension to a coursework deadline of up to 14 days. It is an expectation that you will be able to resume your usual pattern of study after a relatively short period.
The maximum period schools can grant extensions for coursework deadlines is normally 14 calendar days. If a coursework extension is granted but you are unable to submit the work after 14 calendar days, you will need to make an application for Additional Consideration to request either the removal of penalties for late submission (if incurred) or a further attempt at the assessment at the next available opportunity.
If you are applying for a coursework extension on medical grounds you will be able to self-certify for a period of up to 7 calendar days.
All other applications will require supporting evidence to accompany the request. If you are applying for a coursework extension on disability grounds and are registered with Disability Services at the University, your Summary Support Sheet will constitute supporting evidence.
7.1 Applying for an Extension to a Coursework Deadline
7.2 Deadline for applications for an Extension to a Coursework Deadline
You can apply for an extension to a coursework deadline up to the original coursework deadline.
Applications submitted after the original coursework deadline will not be considered retrospectively.
8. Additional Consideration
Where your circumstances cannot be mitigated via an Extension to a Coursework Deadline of up to 14 calendar days, an application for Additional Consideration may be appropriate.
8.1 Applying for Additional Consideration
8.2 Types of Additional Consideration available
|Further Attempt at the
Next Available Resit
|This applies to a first attempt (uncapped mark) or a resit attempt (capped mark). For example, if you missed the original attempt at your assessment, you may be granted a further first attempt. If you missed a resit attempt at your assessment you may be granted a further resit attempt. Note: If you have passed your assessment, you will not normally be permitted a further attempt.|
|Remove Penalties||This should be selected if you are requesting that a late submission penalty or penalty for exceeding a word count be waived.|
|Other||Less common requests for consideration are listed in section 11, such as consideration at Progression and Awards Boards when determining your final degree classification.|
8.3 Deadline for applications for Additional Consideration
The deadline for applications for Additional Consideration is normally within 5 working days of the deadline of the assessment the application relates to. Any alternative deadlines will be publicised by your parent School.
8.4 Adjustments to Application Process
If you require an adjustment to the process due to disability or accessibility need you are asked to contact your School to let them know. Disability Services can also assist you in liaising with your School about your support needs: https://students.leeds.ac.uk/info/10710/disability_services.
9. Evidence in support of mitigating circumstances
Except for the ability to self-certify when requesting a coursework extension, as set out in paragraph 7 above, applications for mitigating circumstances will not normally be considered unless they are supported by independent documentary evidence. Decisions on applications will not be confirmed until this evidence has been received (applications can be submitted without this evidence, but relevant documents must be submitted within 14 calendar days of submitting an application).
Independent evidence would normally be letter-headed correspondence and signed by an appropriate third party, giving details of the circumstances, its dates and/or duration and, where possible, its impact. An appropriate third party would be one who knows you in a professional capacity, or one who can verify the circumstances and who is in a position to provide objective and impartial evidence. Evidence will only be accepted from verifiable addresses.
All evidence must be provided in English. It is your responsibility to provide translations of any non-English documentation, and any documents not in English or without translation will not be accepted as evidence. The translation must be certified as accurate by a Public Notary or translated by an accredited translator.
Personal information about third parties should not be submitted to the University unless necessary. If your circumstances are connected with someone close to you, what we need to know is the impact on you of their circumstances rather than their details. By disclosing data relating to a third party in order to evidence your mitigating circumstances application you are confirming that you have the consent of the third party to do so.
The following list aims to provide guidance on the types of evidence that we would normally expect to be provided to support an application for mitigating circumstances. This list should not be considered definitive, and schools should always consider other forms of documentary evidence provided.
Your parent school may request additional evidence to help to clarify a set of circumstances.
It is your responsibility to obtain evidence in support of your application. We will not be able to obtain medical, or other, evidence on your behalf.
Guidance on Evidence
|Illness or accident of student requiring medical intervention (short-term)||Medical certificate or letter, signed by an appropriately qualified medical practitioner, giving dates affected by illness and containing a medical opinion on how you would have been affected.|
|Illness of another person, usually a close family member (this can be either short-term or chronic illness)||Independent evidence to demonstrate the impact on you (this will preferably come from an independent third party (e.g. your doctor or other qualified professional). You will need to make clear why and how your ability to take assessments was affected.
Where third party permissions exist and it is necessary to explain the severity of circumstances to evidence their impact upon you, medical evidence relating to the illness of the third party (clearly indicating dates of illness). You may be required to provide evidence of your connection to the person who is ill (where that person is not a family member).
By disclosing data relating to a third party in order to evidence your mitigating circumstances application you are confirming that you have the consent of the third party to do so.
|Bereavement||Evidence of bereavement can take several forms, for example:
• A letter from funeral director or minister conducting the service.
• An Order of Service showing date, or other relevant documentation.
• A statement from a doctor or other qualified professional, or member of University staff (e.g. Academic Personal Tutor) confirming you had disclosed a bereavement.
• A corroborating statement from a family member.
• A death certificate.
|Disability||Disabled Students registered with the University’s Disability Services can use their Support Summary Sheet provided by Disability Services as evidence in support of an application for a coursework extension.|
|Other domestic disruption (family issues, financial or accommodation difficulties||Statement must provide clear details, including dates which link to the assessment(s) affected. You must also provide evidence of how you were affected and why this prevented you from completing the assessment(s) on time.
This could include a corroborating statement from professional person, e.g. counsellor, employer, landlord/agent, University staff member (i.e. Academic Personal Tutor, module leader, exam invigilator).
|Absence arising from such things as jury service or maternity, paternity or adoption leave.||Official correspondence relating to these events.|
|Victim of crime||Crime number (these are usually issued by the police for all reported crimes).
For crimes which are of a personal nature, where you find it difficult to report the matter to the police, appropriate evidence can be provided from a medical professional, counsellor or other relevant person.
10. Consideration of mitigating circumstances
10.1 Who considers my application?
Your application for an Extension will be considered by appropriately trained Student Education Service staff. All decisions are ratified by your parent school’s Special Circumstances Committee.
Your application for Additional Consideration will be considered by your parent school’s Special
Circumstances Committee (this is likely to consist of an academic chair and member/s of the Student Education Service staff within your school). Details of membership of the Committee can be found in your parent school Code of Practice on Assessment. This Committee will make a recommendation (without disclosing the circumstances) to the Progression and Awards Board (and/or Assessment Board), who will make the final decision regarding the action to be taken in respect of your application.
10.2 How is my application considered?
The remit of the Special Circumstances Committee is as follows:
- To consider under the authority and on behalf of the Progression and Awards Board details of applications for mitigating circumstances and make recommendations on the outcome of each application to the Board.
- To determine whether the circumstances cited are acceptable grounds to grant mitigation.
- To ensure that decisions are equitable and that there is consistency of treatment across cohorts.
Account shall be taken of:
- Whether the mitigating circumstances are considered to be circumstances genuinely beyond your control or ability to foresee.
- The nature of the circumstances disclosed (e.g. length of impact).
- Evidence of impact of the event or circumstance on your assessments.
- The proximity of the event or circumstance to the assessment(s).
- Whether all/other assessment(s) might equally be affected.
- Whether there is verifiable and current third party evidence to support the request.
The Chair of the Special Circumstances Committee is authorised to approve applications for mitigating circumstances outside formal meetings in exceptional circumstances where the application is clearly evidenced.
- When will my application be considered?
Extension requests are dealt with at the time of application, and you can normally expect a decision within 3 working days.
Applications requesting Additional Consideration (for example, a further attempt) will be considered at meetings of the School Special Circumstances Committee, with the final outcome determined by the Progression and Awards Board at the end of the year.
- What happens to the application form and my evidence once reviewed?
The School will keep details of your application confidential, but it may be necessary for the School Special Circumstances Committee to review it again if relevant to a later application you may make, or to disclose it to the Student Cases Team in response to any appeal that you may make.
Information about your application may be used anonymously to improve services for students and inform development of programmes and services at the University.
11. What are the possible outcomes?
Module marks must always reflect the actual academic performance in the assessments that you take. The University does not change module marks because of mitigating circumstances, or take circumstances into consideration when marking work.
There are a number of possible decisions that the School Special Circumstances Committee may make when considering your application, set out below. This list is not exhaustive, and recommendations are made on an individual basis.
- Further Attempt – First Attempt Resit. If the assessment you failed or missed was the original attempt or had previously been granted as a first attempt resit, then the Committee may grant you a further ‘first attempt’ for an uncapped mark. In this circumstance your original mark will be permanently removed from your record and overwritten by the mark you receive for the fresh attempt whether it was higher or lower than the original attempt. Please note that if you have passed the module, you will not normally be permitted a further attempt.
- Further Attempt – Resit Attempt. If the assessment you failed or missed was a resit, the Committee may grant you an exceptional ‘extra’ resit attempt for a capped mark.
- Remove penalties for late submission or exceeding the word count.
- To give you the opportunity to re-take all or part of an academic session, with first attempts or resit attempts at assessments, including attending teaching. Please note that if you have passed your assessments, you will not normally be permitted a further attempt on a resit year. Please also note that if you are given the opportunity to repeat all or part of an academic session you will normally be expected to pay fees.
- Not to grant any concessions or take any action in relation to your application.
- Consideration of your mitigating circumstances and overall profile of marks when your degree is classified, and where appropriate to depart from the normal rules for classification in order to award a higher class degree.
- The School Special Circumstances Committee may suggest an alternative outcome based on your specific circumstances.
Where you have been granted a first or further attempt at an assessment following an application for mitigating circumstances, any attempts must be taken at the next available opportunity (or within the timeframe agreed with the school). If you decline the offer of a further attempt (whether a first attempt resit or otherwise) following a successful application for mitigating circumstances, that further attempt will not normally be restored at a later date.
The School Special Circumstances Committee may recommend that you seek additional support either through the student support available in your parent school or from other professional services, for example Counselling Service, Medical Practice or Disability Services.
The School Special Circumstances Committee may also recommend that you meet with your School to discuss support for your study as part of the Fitness to Study Procedure.
On occasion, the School Special Circumstances Committee may ask you to submit further evidence or information if you have provided insufficient details for them to make a decision.
12 How will I be told the outcome?
Your parent school will contact you to inform you of the outcome of your application and what steps you will need to take next.
You can expect to receive a decision on your application for an extension in a timely manner, normally within 3 working days. Requests for coursework extensions are not granted automatically and it may be decided that there are insufficient grounds to award an extension. If an extension request is refused and work is submitted after the deadline, penalties will be incurred.
Confirmed decisions on your application for Additional Consideration are likely to be published with the assessment results.
13. What if I am not satisfied with the decision?
If you are not happy with the decision, you should contact your parent school in the first instance. Your parent school should explain the decision to you, and also explain any recommendations that have been made (e.g. why you have been advised to defer taking an examination). If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, and you consider that you have grounds to do so, you may appeal the decision once the Progression and Awards Board has met to confirm your academic results, and the results have been finally published. To appeal you use the Academic Appeals Procedure. Details of this process can be found on the Secretariat website:
The Student Cases Team can offer further advice on the appeals process. Leeds University Union Help and Support can also help you complete your appeal.
Your appeal must be received by the Student Cases Team within 20 working days of final publication of the academic results affected by your circumstances. For details of the publication dates for assessment see your School Code of Practice on Assessment.
14. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I am ill/something has happened, and my studies are being affected. What do I do?
We understand that sometimes, something occurs which will have a negative effect on your ability to study. In such circumstances, we always encourage you to speak with someone in your parent school. There are a number of options available to you, and your parent school will be best placed to explain them to you, and advise how to request them. Those options include:
Support to catch up with your work – all students have an Academic Personal Tutor. You are encouraged to discuss with your Academic Personal Tutor your plans to catch up with your work.
Support services to help you get back on track – the University has support services – both online and face to face. You are encouraged to access these to help you get back on track.
Extensions to deadlines– usually short-term remedies to give you a little extra time to complete a piece of coursework. Extensions should be requested before the deadline for submission. You should consider the impact an extension may have on any other deadlines.
Temporary leave/suspension of studies – for longer term issues, for example (but not exclusively) an injury or illness that will take time to recover from, require treatment, and will most likely require you to be absent from campus. If you are required to be absent for more than 4 weeks in any semester you will normally be expected to take temporary leave.
Deferring assessment until a later date – for more serious illness or circumstances which may not be resolved quickly, but will not require temporary leave. This allows you to attempt the assessment at a point where, hopefully, you are no longer being affected by the circumstances.
I am stressed about my examinations, what should I do?
Examination stress is a normal part of student life and if you are finding that you are particularly stressed about your examinations then you should talk to someone for some help and advice. This could be your Academic Personal Tutor, your programme leader or a member of the Student Education Service within your parent school. They will guide you to further support within the University such as Skills@Library or Student Counselling who run occasional exam stress workshops. Should you feel that you are experiencing a significant adverse effect on your wellbeing due to examination stress, you should seek medical advice and support.
Usually exam stress will not be considered as grounds for an application for mitigating circumstances unless there is evidence of an underlying mental health condition, as this is not an unexpected event.
Something has happened, and I have an assignment due for submission/examination to take in the next few days, what do I do?
Your first action, under such circumstances, should be to contact your parent school. They will advise you of the next steps to take.
If something happens close to the deadline for an assessment, you should contact your parent school (your Academic Personal Tutor, the Student Education Service, programme leader, a module tutor you feel you can approach) as soon as possible and let them know. They will advise you whether to request a coursework extension or submit an application for Additional Consideration, and the process you need to follow.
Normally, an application for a coursework extension (of more than 7 calendar days) or Additional Consideration will require evidence of some form. If you are ill and require medical attention, you should also contact your doctor.
You should then check the deadline for when such applications need to be made (normally within 5 working days of the assessment deadline); determine what evidence you will require to support your application and begin to obtain it. Do note that evidence obtained at the time of your illness/the issue affecting your studies, will usually carry more weight than evidence obtained several weeks or months later.
I am ill/have circumstances affecting me but I want to go ahead and sit the assessments. Can I do this?
You are encouraged to continue to sit assessments if you are well enough to do so, or your circumstances allow. You should seek medical advice from your doctor or support before sitting assessments where possible. Where you have attempted to continue with your assessments and submitted work, or sat an exam but illness or other circumstances mean you do not think you performed to the best of your ability, you will need to submit an Additional Consideration application.
You must not sit assessments if by sitting the assessments you are likely to put the health of others at risk (e.g. if the UK Government Guidance for your illness is to self-isolate).
I am ill and I have an examination today.
If you fall ill on the day of an exam, contact your parent school immediately. If you are unable to attend, let them know as soon as possible, preferably before the examination. You will need to see a doctor to confirm that you were unfit to sit the examination. If you fall ill during an examination, notify the invigilator, who will complete an examination report to confirm this – this can act as a record of your illness when you apply for mitigation. You will still need to present medical evidence of your illness, and must see a doctor as soon as you can after you leave the examination room.
I talked to my Academic Personal Tutor about my problem, do I still need to complete a form?
Yes, you do still need to complete a form so that your circumstances can be considered by the School Special Circumstances Committee.
Can I ask my Academic Personal Tutor to provide a statement to support my application?
Yes, if you have talked to your Academic Personal Tutor about your circumstances you can ask them to provide a supporting statement to that effect, which should be submitted directly to the parent school. The Committee may accept this as evidence, however this would be in addition to, and not instead of, professional evidence such as a medical note in the case of illness.
I don’t think my mitigating circumstances have affected my performance, should I still submit an application?
You must submit an application if you wish your circumstances to be considered. It is too late to submit an application after the event and when you have seen your marks and believe they are not a reflection of your actual ability.
I find it difficult to talk about my circumstances.
We understand that you might not be comfortable raising personal issues, particularly where the circumstances in question are private or of a sensitive nature. We cannot, however, take into account circumstances we are not told about, and retrospective applications, where circumstances are not raised until results, will not normally be considered or accepted. All applications for mitigating circumstances are treated confidentially. No details of mitigating circumstances are presented to the Assessment and Progression and Awards Boards, only that there are mitigating circumstances and the decisions made.
Who should I ask for advice?
You can speak to your Academic Personal Tutor, Student Education Service staff within your parent school or your programme leader. The LUU also have a help and support service, and they can guide you on the various procedures available to you, and direct you to other sources of support (including Disability Service and the Counselling and Wellbeing Service).
Should I apply for Additional Consideration or a coursework extension?
For coursework, where you can’t meet the deadline because of a short term or minor issue that has arisen, you should submit a request for a usually short extension. Contact the Student Education Service within your parent school for advice on the process for extension requests. You should consider the impact of an extension on other deadlines you may have to ensure that you are not creating workload pressure at a later date.
In some circumstances, particularly serious health issues or significant events which may affect all aspects of your studies, an extension would not be appropriate and you should seek advice on the other options available to you. You can also apply for Additional Consideration if you miss the opportunity to request an extension (although you will have to explain why).
What happens if my mitigating circumstances application isn’t approved?
If you consider that you have grounds to do so, you can appeal against the school’s decision not to approve an application for mitigating circumstances via the Academic Appeals Procedure:
The Student Cases Team in Secretariat can provide further advice on this process.
Will I be given additional marks, or will my marks be changed, if my case is approved?
No. Module marks for assessments must always reflect the actual academic performance. No marks will be changed because of mitigating circumstances, nor will mitigating circumstances be taken into consideration when marking your work.
If I am granted a first attempt resit for an assessment, can I decide not to take it?
Yes. However, if you do decline the offer of a further attempt (first attempt or resit attempt) following a successful application for mitigating circumstances, you will not normally be permitted to take that attempt at a later date.
Where you have been granted a first or further attempt following an application for Additional Consideration, any attempts must be taken at the next available opportunity (or within the timeframe agreed with the school).
If you do decide not to take up the offer of a first or further resit attempt, you must inform your parent school of your decision straight away to ensure that you are not registered to take it, and that your original mark is not permanently removed from your record.
I have taken temporary leave from my studies, do I still need to submit a mitigating circumstances application?
If you are requesting temporary leave after the week 8 deadline in either semester, an application for mitigating circumstances will need to be made. This is because after teaching week 8 you are still expected to complete your assessments for that semester.
The Rules for Award
The Rules for Award are the rules, approved by the Senate, under which the schools are allowed to make awards on behalf of the University. The Rules for Award explain the University’s general requirements for each type of qualification.
School UG Assessment Criteria
The undergraduate assessment criteria can be viewed and downloaded below in PDF format:
School TP Assessment Criteria
The taught postgraduate assessment criteria can be viewed and downloaded below in PDF format: